I have fantasies. Some are filthy, some abominable and some are appealing. But they have all remained just that: fantasies. I went into Topshop yesterday to buy myself a woolly winter cardigan. As soon as I walked in, everything shone in my face. Glittery tops, sparkly skirts, shiny dresses.
Then I walked past a rail full of sequined hot pants. They are called “hot pants”, but really they resemble a large pair of decorated knickers. Something my drag queen friends would wear; or something my mother would wear underneath three other pairs to hold everything in. There were many colours: black, green, silver, gold, red. I loved them all – the look of them, the excitement of them. I stood on the shop floor and just stared at them. They had been reduced from £25 to £15 and there were a mass of girls sifting through them. They all looked like chopsticks, with 15-inch waists. Looking at them, and then looking at me, I wondered if I should just get my woolly cardigan, thermal vest and hot-water bottle, and get out of the shop. Shop assistants looked at me suspiciously, obviously thinking I was about to steal them.
I stopped staring and walked around the shops trying to do the right thing – the sensible thing. ButIcouldn’t get those hot pants out of my head. I went back and felt them, then stood behind the shoe section, imagining scenarios in which I could wear them.
I’m going to Thailand for New Year – I could wear them there, but I might get mistaken for a lady boy. I’m accompanying a friend in Ireland to midnight mass at Christmas – should I wear them for a laugh? Itmight take Father Brendan’s mind off the choir boys. I’m going back to my old school next week to present awards on their certificate evening; maybe my old teachers will really appreciate them – especially those PE teachers who seemed to take a great interest in our underpants.
I imagined myself in them: would these hot pants change my life? Would they do for me what they did for Kylie? Then I stormed out of the shop. “I’m too fat for this,” I thought.
That night I couldn’t sleep. I dreamed of myself in the hot pants. If I bought them, they would only end up under my bed with the other things I’ve bought out of fantasy but am too scared to use, like my professional snorkelling kit and the Black & Decker dustbuster.
You reach an age when you feel you must behave, look and think a certain way. I reason with myself that I would look great in sequined hot pants, but I am over 25. What would my mum say if I went home in them?
Plus, there’s a recession: should Ireally waste £15 on something Imay never wear? I could make a pair of hot pants myself out of oneof my mum’s old tea cloths. Or buy some sequined material and get my mum to run a pair off, although knowing her she’d end up making a dress for herself, or making me some sequined pyjamas.
Perhaps this dilemma over buying hot pants is just a diversion from doing any work. But if I spend a couple of hours pretending to be Madonna, I might convince myself that wearing underwear as outerwear is OK, and I’m worried it won’t stop there. I fear I may turn up to my next meeting wearing a bra over my jumper and fishnets over my head.
Of course, I bought them. And like all good fantasies, wearing sequined hot pants has been tried out in the safety of my own home. I have done the vacuuming in them, sat at my computer in them and watched Trevor McDonald reading the news in them. I even put on a fake moustache and a short wig and pretended I was Freddie Mercury in the I Want To Break Free video. So far there have been no complaints from neighbours or passers by, but I have made a decision. I am going to get the MOT on my car done this week, and I’m going to wear them then. If all goes well, I will wear them for my interview to be an MP’s secretary.